HomeEntertainmentFrom Babylon to Biig Piig: A Complete Guide to This Week’s Entertainment | Culture
From Babylon to Biig Piig: A Complete Guide to This Week’s Entertainment | Culture
January 21, 2023
To go out: Movie theater
Babylon out now Since his hit Whiplash in 2014, director Damien Chazelle has shown an interest in performance and spectacle. From La La Land’s intricate opening dance scene to Ryan Gosling’s launch into space in First Man, it feels like everything is being built in Babylon, its sprawling homage to 1920s Hollywood decadence.
holy spider out now Somewhere in the city of Mashhad, a serial killer (Mehdi Bajestani) murders sex workers while leading a double life as a father. Based on true events, Ali Abbasi’s gripping film is a well-made but uncomfortable work that attempts to explore the mind of a killer and the social context in which he briefly thrived.
More than ever out now Fresh off a stunning turn as a depressed Empress in Corsage, talented Vicky Krieps is sober and in search of form in this drama about a woman’s unexpected bond with a stranger in Norway who seems to get a glimpse of her health issues beyond her husband’s understanding. (Gaspard Uliel).
The vision book out now A fantasy drama influenced by both The Goonies and Terrence Malick (the executive producer), and starring Charles Dance, in which a doctor studying the history of medicine discovers an 18th century doctor’s book. Catherine Bray
To go out: Gigs
PVRIS January 22 to 26; the tour starts in Glasgow American electro-rock noise mongers Lynn Gunn and Brian MacDonald arrive in the UK for a whirlwind tour. The band recently teased their next era with singles Anywhere But Here and future crowd favorite Animal, which is built around a pulverizing riff. Michael Cragg
Tim Garland and Jason Rebello Cafe in the Crypt, London, January the 21st; The Maidment Building, Shrewsbury, January 27 Saxophonist Tim Garland and pianist Jason Rebello have shared many stages for three decades (and performed separately for Sting, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and others), but this tour kicks off their first duo album, Life to Life. John Fordham
Lucinda Williams January 21 to 26; the tour starts in London In the UK to play as part of the 30th anniversary Glasgow festival Celtic Connections (January 23), Americana great Lucinda Williams has 14 albums of material to draw on, so expect a bloated setlist of rustic and confessional classics . MC
Cara Bali Concerto BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, January 27 Alexandre Tharaud is the soloist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the piano concerto written for him by Thierry Pécou, inspired by the gamelan ensembles of Bali. Conductor Marzena Diakun prefaces the British premiere with Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and follows it with Martinů’s Third Symphony.Andrew Clements
To go out: To organise
The Lehman Trilogy Gillian Lynne Theatre, London, January 24 to May 20 Director Sam Mendes’ award-winning production returns, charting the humble rise and catatrophic fall of Lehman Brothers. With Michael Balogun, Hadley Fraser and Nigel Lindsay. Miriam Gillinson
Crazy in Love Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, January 26 to March 4 Queer jukebox musical from the creative team behind Spring Awakening and Avenue Q. Adapted from Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th century poem Arcadia and set to music by the Go-Gos, it follows a royal family on a quest to save their kingdom. MG
Acosta Dance Royal Opera House: Linbury Theatre, London, January 23 to 30 Carlos Acosta’s company has wonderful dancers. This project draws on the influences of classical, contemporary and Cuban dance, with works by choreographers such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Goyo Montero. Lyndsey Winship
Babatunde Aleshe January 26 to May 27; the tour starts in Brighton After finding fame as Mo Gilligan’s (arguably funnier) sidekick on Celebrity Gogglebox last year, stand-up Aleshé swapped the couch for a big log during his I’m a Celeb stint. Now the 36-year-old is returning to live comedy with this nationwide tour. Rachel Aroesti
To go out: Art
Alberta Whittle The Holburne Museum, Bath, January 27 to May 8 Bath is a city whose Georgian squares and assembly halls were erected during the time of the slave trade. Scottish artist Whittle tackles that story here. But its main themes are community, care, and healing, so expect a show that offers hope as well as critique.
Spain and the Hispanic world Royal Academy of Arts, London, January the 21st to April 10 Goya’s large portrait of the Duchess of Alba, pointing firmly to the ground as she stands in traditional attire, is one of the treasures of New York’s Hispanic Society Museum & Library in this exhibit. One of the first maps of the world, the Islamic art of Andalusia and the paintings of Velázquez are also in the spotlight.
Mohammad Sami Camden Art Centre, London, January 27 to May 28 Memories of Iraq haunt Sami’s paintings. Born in Baghdad in 1984 and granted asylum in Sweden before settling in the UK as an artist, Sami paints large dark abstract canvases full of smoky violence. The persistence of oppression and war lingers here like a stain in the sky.
Jade Montserrat Manchester Art Gallery, until January 29 One last chance to see this show in which Montserrat combines her watercolors with a study of the idea of ’constellations’, which she translates from myth and astronomy to mean supportive social and cultural networks. His piece A Return to Breath depicts the eyes of people such as Marcus Rashford and Bobby Sands. jonathan jones
Stay at home: Streaming
Lockwood & Co. January 27, netflix In his debut film Attack the Block, Joe Cornish fused high-stakes fantasy with monotonous London life to pleasing effect. Promisingly, he’s tapping into a similar vein for his first big TV project: a jaw-dropping adaptation of Jonathan Stroud’s YA novel series about a gang of teenage ghost hunters.
Fight the Power: How Hip-Hop Changed the World January the 21st9 p.m., BBC 2 and iPlayer There have been countless documentaries tracing the legacy of hip-hop (even one with this very title), but this Chuck D-hosted four-parter is a step above, as major figures and first-hand witnesses of the rise of the genre contextualize its artistic innovations and societal impact.
Contraction January 27, AppleTV+ How I Met Your Mother’s Jason Segel stars as Jimmy, a grief-stricken therapist who begins giving shockingly candid advice to his patients in this biting new dramedy that has some big names behind the scenes (creator Brett Goldstein and Ted Lasso’s Scrubs, Bill Lawrence, co-wrote) and Up Front (Harrison Ford co-stars).
Everyone is burning January 2310 p.m., Channel 4 and all 4 Will from The Inbetweeners with an even more nerdy hairstyle? Yes please! Simon Bird dons a striking bowl cut to play the patriarch of an ultra-religious clan eagerly anticipating the end times in this new sitcom, whose supporting cast – Morgana Robinson, Al Roberts, Lolly Adefope, Kadiff Kirwan – is a draw in itself. AR
Stay at home: Games
Speak Outside January 24, PS5, PC A woman is snatched from the streets of New York, gifted with magical powers, and thrust into a fantasy world full of monsters to battle. Graphically stunning, but the jury is still out on the story setup.
Pocket Card Jockey: Ride! Available now, iPhone, iPad From the creators of Pokémon, this adorably illustrated mashup of solitaire and horse racing (yes, really) is surprisingly compelling. Keza MacDonald
Stay at home: Albums
Dave Rowntree – Radio Songs out now Blur drummer Dave Rowntree’s debut solo album is inspired by a childhood spent listening to the world’s radio stations on beat sets. With its 10 songs built around atmospheric static recordings between stations, Radio Songs is steeped in the lo-fi experimentation of its daily work circa 1997.
Biig Piig – Bubblegum out now Irish singer and rapper Jessica Smyth teases this first mixtape since September, with three of her seven songs already released, including Kerosene’s excellent club throb. Of the others, the melodious Liquorice shows Smyth’s softer side.
Låpsley – Uplifting Tales of Youth out now Since the release of her second album Through Water, singer-songwriter and producer Holly Fletcher has split her time between co-writing bangers for other people (Joel Corry and Jax Jones’s Out Out) and studying at Goldsmiths. College of London. She also designed this new collection of tactile electronic pop, which lyrically traces the disintegration of a relationship.
Mac DeMarco – Five Easy Hot Dogs out now In January 2022, crumpled minstrel DeMarco went on a road trip, with the idea that he would drive north and not return home to Los Angeles until a new album was finished. The result is this collection of 14 hazy instrumentals, each named after a different city during its journey. MC
Stay at home: brain food
Turning Podcast; outside January 24 The first series of Erika Lantz’s The Turning was a fascinating look at the secret Catholic order of Mother Teresa. The second season continues the theme of using personal testimonies to uncover hidden worlds, this time focusing on American ballet.
Full English by Grayson Perry January 269 p.m., Channel 4 & All 4 Entertainer Grayson Perry proved himself a skilled chronicler of national identity with his 2020 show Big American Road Trip. He now turns his gaze closer to home with a three-part series examining the objects that constitute “Anglicism”.
BBC Motion Graphics Archive Online The University of Ravensbourne digital archive is a nostalgic journey through 80 years of BBC test cards, identifiers and graphics. With over 3,000 entries to browse, you can search for everything from Andy Pandy intros to an EastEnders theme. Ammar Kalia